view of empty cemetery

Cemetery in the churchyard of the United Church of Victoria, Newfoundland.

Missing Headstones

The primary reason any given individual cannot be found in the StonePics database is that there never was a headstone in the first place. The above picture is an excellent example. In the foreground you see many unmarked graves that are adjacent to the church building. There are literally hundreds of unmarked graves formerly identified with a wooden cross. It is typical of churchyard cemeteries that the earliest graves are adjacent to the church building. As those "prime locations" become filled, newer graves are established farther and farther away. Notice in the picture that as you go towards the back of the cemetery the density of headstones becomes greater and greater. This is for two reasons: people are more able to afford headstones now than in the past, and attitudes about placing permanent markers are slowly changing. But even today a large percentage of graves have only a simple wooden cross with the name of the deceased written on with a felt-tipped pen.